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Eight to state for LO girls

by: Vern Uyetake, 
Lake Oswego’s Leslie Levine was the No. 4 seed in the district tournament and won a three-set match in the quarterfinals to advance to state.

The Three Rivers League girls district tennis tournament didn't produce too many surprises.

The biggest one actually came before the seeding meeting when it was revealed that Markie Westwood, the Lakers' top singles player all season, would be unable to participate due to a nagging leg injury.

'She was disappointed with it being her senior year. We'll definitely miss her,' Laker coach Debbie Ford said.

It was a tough break for Lake Oswego but the team still managed to rally and send two singles players and three doubles teams through to next week's state tournament.

In singles, Bailey Westwood easily qualified for state, only dropping one game in her first three matches. Then in the semifinals, she knocked off the No. 5 seed from Milwaukie 6-3, 6-1.

Then, in the championship match, Westwood took on the tournament's No. 1 seed in West Linn's Danika Tonning and lost in straight sets.

But, with an advantageous draw, Westwood could do damage at state.

Also advancing through districts was Leslie Levine, who had the No. 4 seed in the tournament.

Levine had a tougher time in her trip to the semifinals.

After winning in straight sets in her first two matches, she endured a tough three-set battle with Lakeridge's Olivia Stark, the tournament's sixth seed.

Levine won 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 and finished in fourth place overall.

For Stark, the match marked her second three-set battle of the tournament.

In the second round, she seemed primed for an easy victory with a 6-0 win in the first set but she then dropped the second in a tiebreaker before rallying to a 6-2 victory in the third set to advance to the quarterfinals.

Lakeridge's Alex Loren also made it to the quarterfinals, topping Lake Oswego's Lindsay Cowan in the second round 6-4, 6-4 in one of the better matches of the tournament's first day.

Also in singles, Lake Oswego's Heather Aholt lost in the first round but rallied to make it to the consolation finals.

In doubles, Lake Oswego was predictably dominant. The Lakers had three of six seeds and all of those teams advanced to state.

No. 1 seed Madeline Parker and Molly Maguire cruised to the district title without much of a test.

In fact, the pair didn't lose more than two games in a single set for the entire tournament.

In the championship match, Parker and Maguire bested their teammates Hayley Standage and Stephanie Wolfram 6-2, 6-2.

Standage and Wolfram, the tournament's No. 3 seed, won their first three matches easily in straight sets and then recorded an impressive victory over West Linn's top team in the semifinals 6-3, 6-4.

The No. 6 seed in the tournament was the Lake Oswego team of Megan MacKenzie and Lindsey Rossman. That pair also had little trouble in the first two rounds despite an early match-up with a strong West Linn team.

The Lakers cruised to the quarterfinals where they faced Lakeridge's Rachel Ellis and Kiersten McNairy.

In a well-fought match, the Laker pair won 6-2, 6-2 before falling to Parker and Maguire in the semifinals.

The Lake Oswego pair of Nicole Galos and Katie Sun dropped their first match but advanced to the consolation finals.

Lake Oswego is still expected to rival last year's finish when the team placed second in state.

Parker and Maguire will likely compete for a state championship as Maguire, along with Markie Westwood, finished as a state runner up last year.

Jesuit, Lincoln and South Medford are also expected to field strong contingents.

The girls state tournament will start next Thursday at Portland Tennis Center.